Double standard plagues NFL, hurts integrity

Jacob Steinberg, Sports Columnist

The National Football league may be the king sporting league in this country. From television ratings to overall revenue, the NFL takes the cake over the MLB, NBA, and NHL. While all that is good for the NFL, they very well could have an extremely costly problem on their hands.

When Colin Kaepernick and then teammate Eric Reid started kneeling for the National Anthem in August 2016, it was a stance on racial injustice in this country, though many citizens felt differently. This issue become extremely polarizing among fans, players, political figures, and more.

It’s been nearly a year and a half since Kaepernick took a knee. After opting out of his contract the following season, Kaepernick became a free agent. Today, he is still a free agent.

Most recently, the Seattle Seahawks were going to bring Kaepernick in for a workout. However, they decided against it at the last minute. Adam Schefter of ESPN stated in a tweet that it was because Kaepernick would not give them an answer about whether he would kneel this season. Seattle ended up signing Stephen Morris, who has never played a meaningful NFL snap in his career.

Colin Kaepernick is better than all the free agent quarterbacks that have been signed off the streets. For example, Brandon Weeden, who signed with the Titans during the middle of last season, has not taken a meaningful snap since 2015. Josh Johnson, who has not played in a single game since 2013, signed with the Texans in the same time frame.

Yet the question among all the best reporters and analysts remains. How has Kaepernick not been signed yet?

The answer is simple. Colin Kaepernick is being blackballed from the NFL, and that is where the problem comes to light. NFL teams are willing to have known domestic abusers on their teams, but not willing to sign Kaepernick, who took his team to the Super Bowl in 2012. This is seemingly a double standard that is hurting the image of the NFL. It is what Kaepernick’s former team, the San Francisco 49ers, are dealing with now.

Reuben Foster, a first round pick in 2017, was charged with three felony charges on domestic violence, and a misdemeanor weapons charge.

Authorities say that Foster attacked a woman who was 28 years old. She was left with bruises and a ruptured ear drum and was taken to a hospital. If he is convicted on all charges, he faces up to 11 years in prison.

It also applies to the Cincinnati Bengals, who drafted Joe Mixon in the second round in last years draft. In 2014, Mixon was caught on tape knocking a woman unconscious. Their owner and general manager, Mike Brown, recently questioned Reid if he planned to continue protesting.

Reid was caught off guard and did not answer the question. Reid is still a free agent.

That is an example of the double standard that hurts the league’s integrity. It sends a terrible message to fans that domestic abusers are welcome in the league, but players who take an unpopular political stance are not.

Now is the time for the NFL to clean up its act. It needs to happen immediately, or the NFL faces a risk of being eclipsed by the NBA as the king sporting league